GOED Annual Report Showcases Utah’s Vitality

Pete CodellaBroadband

Andrew Gillman is a marketing coordinator at the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development.

With each passing year, the State of Utah’s list of third-party accolades is ballooning like there’s not a global helium shortage. With that in mind, the Governor’s Office of Economic Development’s (GOED) 2012 Annual Report and Business Resource Guide was recently released. And it’s the best one yet.

Utah’s nation-leading economic vitality and future economic outlook make it easy to celebrate. But the State is not willing to rest on its laurels. Even where the Beehive State is succeeding, Utah’s ever-strengthening public/private collaboration sees opportunity. For example, the Annual Report illustrates the growth of the Life Sciences “Targeted Economic Cluster” (p.12) even through the economic downturn, at a rate of 11 percent since 2006, which make it one of the nation’s most resilient economic clusters.

The cluster model of growth means more to Utahns than any accolade, because it means jobs that are higher paying and more desirable, allowing upward mobility and access to an improved quality of life.

More so than ever before, GOED is striving to expand the reach of its rich business resources into every corner of the state, through the expansion of its business marketing initiative that will expand awareness (p.18) of the opportunities offered by our statewide Business Resource Centers (p.19) and our Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (p.33). And since economic vitality doesn’t end at the city’s boundary, GOED’s Rural Development Office (P.35) extends assistance into Utah’s less populated counties.

The State of Utah specifically targets growth in clusters like the life sciences, aerospace and defense, software development and IT and the nation’s only outdoor products and recreation cluster for two reasons: economic vitality and quality of life.

To nonresidents, Utah once conjured up the image of high desert and Delicate Arch. While that hasn’t changed, we’re now adding corporate growth and small business vitality to the landscape. Not the Delicate Arch landscape — it is in a national park, after all — but wherever growth is occurring.

In truth, Delicate Arch occupies the space between unparalleled business opportunities. It’s part of a world-renowned quality of life that has access to unrivaled open spaces, from sanctuaries of natural beauty to seemingly infinite outdoor recreational opportunities. Nobody knows those better than the Utah Office of Tourism (p.47), who watch over Utah’s “Life Elevated®” brand from their vantage point on Salt Lake City’s Capitol Hill.

But of course, Utah’s rise in the national rankings has not occurred without the help of dedicated and driven partners in economic development (pp. 54-80). Most notably, GOED recently co-located with World Trade Center Utah, Utah Science Technology and Research (USTAR) Initiative and the Office of Energy Development, amplifying these agencies individual and combined ability to achieve their goals. These agencies are working tirelessly with the private sector to tackle Governor Gary R. Herbert’s challenge of creating 100,000 jobs in 1,000 days.

GOED’s Annual Report showcases Utah’s rich repository of business resources, designed to meet the needs of Utah business owners, both big and small. Its 98 pages represent the unprecedented partnerships among private and public entities, held up by the resilience and ambition of the private sector. For those reasons, it is 98 pages with limitless potential.